It is well known that every single police officer around the country takes an oath to serve and protect the community. Police officers should not place anyone’s life in danger, unless the circumstances demand it. However, there are times when police officers cross the line and do harm. What can be done when something like this happens?
What is police misconduct?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that police misconduct often involves violations of a person’s Constitutional rights. Common examples include theft, false arrest, or the use of excessive force. When a police officer breaks the law while on duty, it may give rise to a case for police misconduct. It is also possible for an off-duty officer commit police misconduct if he or she is acting, or claiming to act in their official capacity in law enforcement. How the misconduct affects the victim varies widely, depending on the events that took place and how the police officer behaved during the time of the incident. The cases that draw headlines are often those involving the death of a victim at the hands of police. That said, every incident involving police misconduct is serious.
In addition to affirmative acts, it is possible for an officer to be guilty of misconduct for failing to intervene. If one officer allows another to violate a victim’s Constitutional rights, the first officer may be prosecuted for the failure to intervene.
Criminal charges are not the only way to hold police accountable for misconduct. The victims of misconduct may be able to seek compensation for the harm done to them. A financial recovery can help victims pay for medical care, rehabilitation, and other expenses related to the incident. It is also one way for victims to get some measure of justice against the officer or officers who violated their duty. Victims of police misconduct deserve to be compensated, but they also deserve the vindication that comes with fighting back against what was done to them.